© Christina Holmes
- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 2 HR 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 10 to 12
Puttanesca is a classic southern Italian pasta sauce made with tomatoes, capers and olives. Here, it lends a ton of flavor to a hearty but not heavy eggplant lasagna layered with ricotta and mozzarella.
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for tossing and greasing
1 pound dry lasagna noodles
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium eggplant, diced (1/2 inch)
Freshly ground pepper
7 anchovy fillets in oil, chopped
7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup pitted olives, chopped
3 tablespoons drained capers
Two 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes and juices, crushed
3 cups fresh ricotta cheese
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 pound mozzarella, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 450°. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch ceramic baking dish with oil.
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the lasagna noodles until they just start to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain, transfer to a baking sheet and toss with olive oil.
- In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until lightly golden, 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the anchovies and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the olives, capers and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until the sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, stir the ricotta with the eggs and season with salt and pepper.
- Spread 1 1/2 cups of the puttanesca sauce in the baking dish. Top with 5 lasagna noodles and spread with half of the ricotta. Top with another layer of noodles and half of the remaining sauce. Arrange another layer of noodles on top and spread with the remaining ricotta. Repeat with a final layer of noodles and the remaining sauce.
- Cover with foil and bake the lasagna for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes. Arrange the mozzarella slices over the top and bake for 15 minutes longer, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
A bright Barbera d'Asti is a good pick for pastas with tangy tomatoes.